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Who Is the Nice Attacker?

  • Cecily Hilleary

Police officers, firefighters and rescue workers are seen at the site of an attack on July 15, 2016, after a truck drove into a crowd watching a fireworks display in the French Riviera town of Nice.

Police officers, firefighters and rescue workers are seen at the site of an attack on July 15, 2016, after a truck drove into a crowd watching a fireworks display in the French Riviera town of Nice.

Here is what is known about Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, the man who Thursday night drove a truck into crowds celebrating Bastille Day in the coastal city of Nice:

A 31-year old resident of the city’s northern "Abattoirs district", Bouhlel worked as a truck driver, Nice-Matin newspaper reported online. Police speculate he may have rented the 19-ton white truck used in the attack from an agency in a neighboring town.

French Justice Minister Jean-Jacques Urvoas said the attacker has a police record for petty crimes, but has been convicted of only one: Last May, Bouhlel threw a wooden pallet at another driver. He was not sentenced to any jail time but was required to check in with a parole officer weekly for a period of two months.

Authorities are not aware that he had any link to terror groups.

Bouhlel was born in 1985 in the northeastern Tunisian town of Msaken, about seven miles from the coastal resort city of Sousse, where an gunman attacked a hotel, killing 38 people - mostly British tourists - in June 2015.

Bouhlel is a French Tunisian who has been living in Nice for several years. He last visited Tunisia four years ago.

France’s BFM TV news network reported he is a father of three who suffered from depression following his divorce from their mother. Neighbors described him as “depressed,” “unstable” and “rude.”

They also say he stayed to himself and to their knowledge did not pray, one of the obligations of Islam.

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